We are all going on an Expedition,” said Christopher Robin, as he got up and brushed himself. “Thank you, Pooh.”
“Going on an Expotition?” said Pooh eagerly. “I don’t think I’ve ever been on one of those. Where are we going to on this Expotition?”
“Expedition, silly old Bear. It’s got an ‘x’ in it.”
“Oh!” said Pooh. “I know.” But he didn’t really.
~Winnie the Pooh, Chapter 8
This morning, Mommy and Jack went on a Expotition.
In downtown Antioch there should have been a children’s thrift store. Turns out, it’s not there anymore. Mommy’s plan was to take Jack to the thrift store for some dress up clothes, and then walk along the river.
Mommy told Jack: We’re going on an Expotition.
Initially excited, Jack later said: I don’t want to go on a expotition. I wanna run aroun’ on the grass.
So Mommy said: Our Expotition will take us to the river and the train tracks.
Jack ran back into the house to get a shirt.
Antioch is located on the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta. Downtown is on the river, and there are train tracks and an Amtrak station there. But the only time we’ve ever been to the river was the 4th of July. So, Mommy thought a trip was in order.
We parked at E Street, and stood and looked at the river there. We hung out for awhile, and then Mommy put Jack in the stroller. Just then, we heard a train whistle. So we waited. Our patience was rewarded when an Amtrak passenger train sped by us. Jack waved hello to the passengers.
We began walking along the street in downtown, until we saw a street that cut to the river walk. When we got to the river walk, we heard another train whistle. Mommy held Jack, and a long freight train came by. We were a bit closer than we had been to the Amtrak train, and we were above the train a bit. At the first car, Jack’s body stiffened. He was afraid. But by the mid-point, he was smiling. The last car went by in a gust of machine-induced wind. Jack decided he wanted to walk, so Mommy pushed the stroller and held Jack’s hand.
We walked down to the Amtrak station, which is no bigger than our first floor, and smells of urine. We saw one man sleeping in his car – obviously his house. Past the Amtrak station, the river walk continued. We’d gone a long way at this point, so Mommy wanted to turn back. But Jack saw a wooden bridge and he wanted to go over it.
At that point, Mommy saw what looked like an old-fashioned ship in the distance. She was intrigued, so we decided to go over that bridge to see what we could see.
We found the Antioch Marina.
Aside: Easter 2005, our first here. We invited Robyn’s parents and grandparents and our friends Gus and Jenn to dinner out. Robyn’s dad was talking about a restaurant at the marina, but Robyn couldn’t find such a thing in the phone book. So, she made reservations at a random restaurant. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t an Easter Dinner Restaurant. The restaurant she wanted was Humphrey’s.
Back: Humphrey’s is on the Marina, right there on the water. We found it.
To get to the Marina, we actually had to cross the train tracks at a railroad crossing. This made Mommy nervous, but the promise of a close-up view of the river and boats made it necessary.
We walked through the little park, and then found our way up the pier to the water.
And there it was: An old-fashioned ship. Turns out, it’s a replica of Christopher Columbus’s Nina. We had just read on a friend’s blog that she and her sons had visited the Nina, but thought that was in San Francisco. The Nina in Antioch?
Indeed! It was $5 for an adult. Mommy didn’t think she had cash, so she tried to distract Jack. But Jack had been staring at this boat and wanted to go on. When Mommy tried to take him away from the admissions table, he went dead weight and flopped on the concrete. Thankfully, there weren’t too many people there.
Mommy rummaged through her purse, Jack chanting “We need gas” – “No honey, CASH. We need CASH.” – “We need CASH.” There were 3 ones, which Jack held onto with both hands. Then, there were 4 quarters, and one more dollar in dimes, nickels, and 10 pennies. So, we had the cash to go on the Nina. But none to give a donation to her crew, which is all-volunteer.
Jack loved the Nina, so it was worth the slight humiliation on the dock. It’s a very small ship/boat. Jack could stand on the things to which they tie the ropes and lean over. He saw the river!
Jack: I see the water!
Mommy: And what is that water called?
Jack: Mmmm… the river!
We saw our shadows in the water.
Mommy: My shadow kisses your shadow.
Jack: Mm-wah. My shadow kiss your shadow!
Jack actually stood on those ties for several minutes at a stretch. He also climbed a ladder. We spent over 30 minutes on the ship. It was lots of fun! While we were on the Nina, we saw another freight train go by.
But it was also a long walk. We got off the boat, and Mommy had to walk quickly, with Jack in the stroller, to get back to the car. Jack insisted upon seeing another train. Mommy said that they’d stay for 5 minutes, and if a train came, then great, but if not, we’d see one another day. At the fifth minute, we heard a train horn, and WHOOSH came past another very long freight train. Jack was still upset when we had to go.
Now, Jack wants to go on a train, with Mommy and Daddy.